Hidden Victims: Pakistan’s Incest Survivors
“‘Don’t tell anybody.’” It’s a common phrase for victims of sexual abuse in Pakistan to hear from their mothers. … “[I]f a mother learns that her husband is sexually molesting her daughters, she has nowhere to turn because there is little to no state assistance for battered women in Pakistan if they chose not to live with their husbands. … Even if [incest victims] do get in front of a court, they are often are encouraged, sometimes even by the judges, to settle the matter out of court for the honor of the family, through a process dubbed as ‘compromise,’ by accepting a sum of money in exchange for silence. This compromise, [Manizeh Bano, Executive Director of a Pakistan-based NGO called Sahil] says, has been the biggest challenge her organization faces in bringing the perpetrators to justice. After spending months working with the victim, in most cases, families ‘compromise,’ ensuring that the perpetrator is never convicted for his crime.” View the video and read the full report by Habiba Nosheen in The Atlantic. Listen to the report on PRI’s The World. Hilke Schellmann also contributed.